San Bernardino Taxi Accident Lawyers
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San Bernardino Taxi Accident Lawyers
In San Bernardino, you have your choice of taxi companies. Lake Arrowhead Car Services, Affordable Car Services, Yellow Cab, Xpress Yellow Cab, A+ Mountain Ride Services, and a host of others compete to bring in riders who need to use a taxi to reach their destination. Whether you need to use a taxi to get around San Bernardino because you do not have a vehicle of your own, because you need a ride to the airport, or because you need a safe ride after a night out drinking with friends, taxi services can offer a safe way to reach your destination.
Until those taxi services do not provide the safe, high-quality service that you expect.
Taxi drivers may drive aggressively or even recklessly to reach their destinations faster, increasing the number of fares they can take in a single night and therefore, increasing their profit. They may behave aggressively toward passengers. They may drive despite inebriation or drug use. Reckless or negligent behavior behind the wheel can quickly lead to severe accidents, many of which can have lifelong consequences for taxi accident victims.
Did you suffer a taxi accident in San Bernardino due to the negligence of the taxi driver? Gomez Trial Attorneys can help you better understand your right to compensation. Contact our San Bernardino taxi accident lawyers today at 833-GET GOMEZ (833-438-4663) for a free case review.
SAN BERNARDINO TAXI ACCIDENTS: POTENTIAL INJURIES VICTIMS MAY SUFFER
Most taxis must meet specific standards, both in terms of cleanliness and sanitation and in terms of their state of repair. Drivers must properly maintain their vehicles to ensure that anything that could cause severe injury to passengers in the cab is repaired. Unfortunately, some taxi drivers may fail to properly maintain their vehicles, which may increase the risk to passengers and others on the road alike.
Taxi accident victims may suffer severe injuries. Worse, because taxi passengers do not legally have to wear seatbelts, passengers may suffer more injuries than if they were wearing a seatbelt and properly secured in the vehicle.
TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY
Taxi passengers, especially those not restrained by a seatbelt, may suffer a great deal of blunt force trauma to the head in an accident. As the head slams against the seat, either the one in front of or the one behind the passenger, it can slam the brain against the inside of the skull, leading to bruising and bleeding. Traumatic brain injury may have severe, lifelong impacts on the patient.
At the scene of the accident, victims with traumatic brain injury may suffer from confusion and disorientation. They may lose consciousness or wander around the scene of the accident without seeming to understand what happened or what they need to do next. As symptoms progress, victims with traumatic brain injury may have trouble with both short-term and long-term memory. They may struggle to focus on the task currently at hand or to maintain concentration long enough to take care of even simple work duties.
Often, people with traumatic brain injury grow confused very easily, and may need additional help and support to remain as independent as possible. In addition to those challenges, many patients with traumatic brain injury face emotional disruptions. They may, for example, struggle with excessive emotional responses, which may leave them responding with much more severity than the incident calls for. Victims may also suffer from mood swings or even personality changes related to their injuries.
While some people with traumatic brain injury do make a full recovery, traumatic brain injury can linger. Even victims with minor traumatic brain injury may show symptoms more than a year after the initial accident.
BACK AND NECK INJURIES
Taxi accident victims who suffer back and neck injuries may quickly notice that those injuries cause suffering in many areas of their lives. Back and neck pain can cause immense discomfort whether sitting, standing, or moving around, which can interfere with the victim’s ability to perform many common activities. Back and neck injuries can make it very difficult for patients to engage in sports activities or even handle many of their work responsibilities, especially if they work in highly physical professions.
At their most severe, back and neck injuries may include direct damage to the spinal cord. Spinal cord injuries can result in full or partial paralysis below the site of the injury, depending on the injury’s severity. Spinal cord injury victims may need to use a wheelchair to get around following their accidents. Complete injuries high on the spinal cord may result in paralysis of the arms and hands as well as paralysis of the legs.
Severe auto accidents, including taxi accidents, may result in limb amputation. Victims of taxi accidents may have a higher rate of limb amputation if they do not wear their seatbelts at the time of the accident, causing them to experience more force during the accident itself or even get thrown from the vehicle during the accident.
Limb amputation can cause many serious complications in the victim’s life. Many amputees must relearn how to perform some of the activities they have performed all their lives, including self-care tasks. Following amputation, many victims choose to wear prosthetics to help them restore some functionality or to maintain something closer to normal appearance. While prosthetics can help victims maintain independence and provide them with more freedom, they also add an ongoing expense to the victim’s life. Typically, amputees must replace their prosthetics every three to five years. They may need to replace them more often if those devices see considerable hard use, including using them to run or play sports.
In a severe auto accident, the vehicles involved may burst into flames. People trapped by those vehicles, or who cannot get out fast enough, may suffer severe burns in the accident.
Burn victims suffer a high rate of complications during their recovery. Burns strip away the protective layer of skin designed to protect the body. Under normal circumstances, the skin offers protection that can help prevent bacteria from entering the body. With that layer of protection removed, burn victims may experience higher rates of infections. Infections can slow healing time, increase scarring, and leave the victim susceptible to other illnesses and influences.
Many burn victims require skin grafts to help repair the damaged area. Skin grafts often come from other areas on the body and can leave scars behind in both locations. While cosmetic surgery can help reduce some appearance of scarring, it may not fully restore the victim’s former appearance. Many burn victims struggle emotionally because of the remaining scars.
Taxi accidents can quickly cause multiple, severely broken bones. Victims with broken bones may require surgical attention to set the break and increase the victim’s odds of recovery as much as possible. Victims who get thrown around the taxi during the accident may suffer multiple broken bones and require ongoing care while they recover. Often, the effects of a broken bone linger long after the initial accident. Victims may have trouble with mobility and require considerable physical therapy to restore it as much as possible. Broken bones can prevent a victim from working or enjoying normal leisure activities.
PURSUING COMPENSATION AFTER A SAN BERNARDINO TAXI ACCIDENT
Following a San Bernardino taxi accident, you may need to pursue compensation for your injuries.
To establish whether you have grounds for a claim after your taxi accident, consider:
- Did you suffer injuries in the accident? To file a San Bernardino taxi accident claim, you will need to show that you suffered injuries as a result of someone else’s negligence.
- Did another party’s negligent actions cause your injuries? As the passenger in a taxi, you know that someone else caused the accident that led to your injuries. Which party you file a San Bernardino taxi accident claim against may depend on who caused or contributed to the accident.
WHO CAN YOU FILE A CLAIM AGAINST AFTER A TAXI ACCIDENT IN SAN BERNARDINO?
After your taxi accident, you have the right to file a claim against any party that caused or contributed to the taxi accident. If the taxi driver caused your accident, for example, you can file a claim against the taxi driver. Other parties, however, may also cause or contribute to your taxi accident.
An attorney can help identify all parties who may have contributed to your accident, allowing you to file a San Bernardino taxi accident claim against each one and maximize the compensation you can seek for your injuries.
- The taxi company. In some cases, you may have grounds to file a claim against the taxi company directly. For example, you may find that the taxi company employed a driver who does not carry a California taxi license, or that the taxi company owns, but fails to properly maintain, its taxis. You may also have grounds to file a claim against a taxi company that continues to employ a driver with a considerable accident history or a history of drinking on the job.
- The manufacturer of the vehicle or its parts. If a mechanical failure causes your accident, you may have grounds to file a San Bernardino taxi accident claim against the vehicle manufacturer or the party that manufactured the vehicle’s parts.
- A mechanic that recently worked on the vehicle. Sometimes, a mechanical failure may occur because a mechanic who recently worked on the vehicle broke a part while performing repairs, or because the mechanic failed to properly repair an issue with the vehicle. In those cases, the mechanic may share liability for that failure.
HOW MUCH COMPENSATION SHOULD YOU EXPECT AFTER A SAN BERNARDINO TAXI ACCIDENT?
To establish the compensation you should expect following a taxi accident, talk to an experienced San Bernardino accident attorney. An attorney can help evaluate the elements of your claim and give you a better idea of how much compensation you should expect for your injuries.
In general, the compensation for your San Bernardino taxi accident claim will fall into several clear categories.
- The cost of medical care. After a taxi accident in which you suffered severe injuries, you may have to deal with a lot of medical concerns—and, as a result, a lot of medical bills. Many accident victims find those bills mounting quickly, often leaving them struggling to decide how to pay them. You may have bills for emergency medical care as well as bills for ongoing treatment: procedures related to your accident, surgeries, hospitalization, and physical and occupational therapy related to your injuries. Keep track of all medical bills from your accident, including any follow-up appointments and ongoing procedures for your injuries.
- Compensation for the wages you lost due to your injuries. Serious injuries can make it very difficult for you to go back to work after an accident. While some employers will work with you to get you back in the office as soon as possible, others may require you to stay out of work until you make a full recovery. You may require assistance to go back to work. Not only that, lost time at work can add up quickly during your recovery. You may need to miss work for follow-up procedures and therapies, or you may need to alter your usual work schedule due to the limitations from your injuries.
- Compensation for your pain and suffering. In addition to severe physical pain related to serious injuries, you may struggle with emotional suffering related to your accident, including lost relationships or opportunities. Contact an attorney to learn how you may include those elements as part of your San Bernardino taxi accident claim.
SAN BERNARDINO TAXI ACCIDENT FAQS
Did you suffer serious injuries in a taxi accident? Do you have questions about your legal right to compensation? Below, we attempt to answer some of the most frequently asked questions many victims have following their accidents. If you have specific questions about your taxi accident, including your right to compensation, contact Gomez Trial Attorneys to learn more.
1. HOW MUCH COMPENSATION CAN I EXPECT FOR SAN BERNARDINO TAXI ACCIDENT INJURIES?
Taxi drivers must carry more insurance than typical drivers of passenger vehicles. As a result, you may have the right to acquire more compensation for taxi accident injuries than you would injuries sustained in an accident with the driver of a passenger vehicle. However, your compensation still gets based on your injuries, the medical expenses you faced as a result of your injuries, and any wages you lost due to time spent out of work in recovery. You may also seek compensation related to pain and suffering from your accident.
Consult your attorney to learn more about your specific right to compensation and how much compensation you can expect from your claim.
2. I SUFFERED INJURIES AS A PASSENGER IN A TAXI. WHO DO I NEED TO FILE A SAN BERNARDINO TAXI ACCIDENT CLAIM AGAINST?
To seek compensation following a taxi accident, you should consider who caused the accident. If the taxi driver caused your accident, you should file for compensation against the taxi driver directly.
However, if the taxi driver did not cause the accident, you may need to consider what other elements contributed to the accident as you determine who you need to pursue compensation against.
A mechanical failure caused your accident. Though taxi drivers bear primary responsibility for keeping their vehicles well-maintained and running properly, that does not necessarily mean that the taxi driver bears liability for a mechanical failure. If, for example, a tire blowout occurred even though the taxi driver properly maintained the vehicle and replaced the tires as needed, did not over-inflate or under-inflate the tires, and did not travel at excess speeds or hit something in the road, the tire manufacturer may share liability for the accident. Likewise, if a brake failure caused the accident, the manufacturer of the vehicle or the manufacturer of the brakes may share liability for the accident.
Another driver caused the accident. Taxi drivers can commit errors that may cause an accident, but other drivers on the road may also commit errors or acts of negligence that make it impossible for the taxi driver to avoid an accident. If another driver causes the accident, you may have the right to pursue compensation for your injuries through that driver’s insurance company.
In some cases, however, the other driver may not carry adequate insurance to cover your expenses and provide you with the compensation you need for the suffering you faced due to your accident. Even if the taxi driver did not cause your accident, the taxi driver’s insurance may provide coverage that can help you pay your medical bills and cover other expenses related to your accident.
The taxi company contributed to the accident. Taxi drivers, like other drivers of commercial vehicles, must carefully adhere to federal regulations governing the amount of time they can spend behind the wheel each day. They must also avoid driving when inebriated, when fatigued, or when illness prevents them from safely navigating the streets of San Bernardino and delivering their passengers to their destinations.
Unfortunately, some taxi companies may push their drivers to ignore those safety regulations. To increase income as much as possible, taxi companies may try to force their drivers to drive regardless of their current comfort level or ability to navigate safely. As a result, the taxi driver’s risk of accident may increase substantially. The taxi company may bear liability for accidents that occur when the company tries to force a driver to ignore safety precautions.
The taxi company may also bear liability if it fails to properly maintain vehicles that belong to the company, including repairing any problems that could lead to an accident and keeping up with routine maintenance. Further, the taxi company must carefully evaluate its drivers to ensure that they still meet the right standards to hold a taxi license. If the company continues to employ a driver who does not meet proper standards or who causes accidents regularly, the company may bear liability for accidents caused by that driver.
If the taxi company shares direct liability for an accident, you may have grounds to file a San Bernardino taxi accident claim against the taxi company itself, not just through the taxi driver’s insurance.
3. I SUFFERED INJURIES AS THE DRIVER OR PASSENGER OF ANOTHER VEHICLE IN A SAN BERNARDINO TAXI ACCIDENT. HOW CAN I SEEK COMPENSATION FOR MY INJURIES?
As the driver or passenger in another vehicle who suffers serious injuries in an accident with a taxi, you have the same right to compensation as a passenger in the taxi cab. You can pursue compensation through the taxi driver’s insurance company or by filing a claim against any party that contributes to the accident.
You do not, however, have grounds to file a San Bernardino taxi accident claim against the taxi driver’s insurance if you caused the accident.
4. WHAT IF THE TAXI DRIVER DOES NOT CARRY INSURANCE? CAN I STILL FILE A SAN BERNARDINO TAXI ACCIDENT CLAIM?
If the taxi driver does not carry insurance, it can prove much more difficult to file a San Bernardino taxi accident claim and receive the compensation you deserve. However, you can still file a San Bernardino taxi accident claim against the taxi driver directly. Contact an experienced San Bernardino taxi accident attorney after your taxi accident to learn more about your legal right to compensation following a taxi accident and how you can file a claim if the taxi driver does not carry insurance.
5. WHAT SHOULD I DO IF THE SAN BERNARDINO TAXI DRIVER’S INSURANCE COMPANY OFFERS ME A SETTLEMENT?
Sometimes, especially if the taxi driver clearly caused the accident, you may receive contact from the taxi driver’s insurance company shortly after the accident. The insurance company may issue a settlement offer intended to provide some immediate compensation for your injuries. To some taxi accident victims, a small settlement offer can make it seem much easier to take care of medical expenses or to pay other bills related to the accident. Unfortunately, insurance companies may try to take advantage of your need for a fast settlement to reduce their financial liability associated with your injuries.
Do not accept that offer without talking to an experienced San Bernardino taxi accident attorney. An attorney can help give you a better idea of how much compensation you really deserve for your injuries and help you determine when you should accept a settlement offer and when you should continue to negotiate.
6. I CHOSE NOT TO WEAR A SEATBELT, WHICH RESULTED IN MUCH MORE SEVERE INJURIES DURING MY ACCIDENT. DO I STILL HAVE THE RIGHT TO COMPENSATION FOR MY SAN BERNARDINO TAXI ACCIDENT INJURIES?
According to California law, taxi passengers receive an exemption from the law that requires all passengers in a moving vehicle to wear a seatbelt. If you chose not to wear a seatbelt at the time of the accident, or if the taxi did not have seatbelts you could wear, you can still seek compensation for any injuries sustained during the accident. You should, however, always wear your seatbelt any time you get into a motor vehicle, including a taxi.
7. DO I REALLY NEED TO USE A LAWYER TO HELP HANDLE MY SAN BERNARDINO TAXI ACCIDENT CLAIM?
Yes. If you suffered serious injuries in a taxi accident, you should contact an attorney as soon after your accident as possible.
Among many other things, an attorney can:
- Investigate your accident. Who caused or contributed to your accident? The taxi driver’s insurance company may try to prove that another driver caused the accident, while the other driver’s insurance company may insist that the taxi driver caused the accident. An attorney can help investigate the accident and give you a better idea of all factors that may have contributed to the accident and your injuries.
- Help you understand the compensation you deserve. You need a full understanding of exactly how much compensation you really deserve for your injuries as you move forward with your San Bernardino taxi accident claim. Often, the insurance company may try to minimize its responsibility to you, which can leave you struggling to get the funds you deserve. An attorney will keep your best interests at the forefront, which may give you a better idea of how much you need to negotiate.
- Handle paperwork and negotiations on your behalf. After your taxi accident, you have more than enough on your plate. Unfortunately, that can lead to extreme stress and burnout as well as emotional distress every time you have to deal with the insurance company. An experienced taxi accident attorney can take over many of those tasks on your behalf, freeing you up to focus on your recovery and reducing your overall stress levels. For some taxi accident victims, including those with traumatic brain injury, this support can prove invaluable.
8. HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO HIRE A SAN BERNARDINO TAXI ACCIDENT ATTORNEY?
Many taxi accident victims suffer a great deal of worry about how much an attorney will cost. You know that you need to do as much as possible to maximize the compensation you can receive for your injuries, but you do not want to lose that money to legal fees and you may not have the money upfront to pay a lawyer.
For many victims, hiring a taxi accident lawyer turns out more affordable than they thought.
Most attorneys will start with a free consultation: a chance to evaluate your claim and understand what contributed to your accident. That consultation also gives you a chance to decide whether you want to work with a specific attorney. Following the free case evaluation, the attorney may decide to take your claim on a contingent fee basis. Instead of requiring you to pay upfront for legal services, you can make plans to pay for the legal assistance you received out of your San Bernardino taxi accident claim.
9. WHO PAYS FOR MY MEDICAL BILLS AFTER A SAN BERNARDINO TAXI ACCIDENT?
Taking care of your medical bills may seem impossible after the accident, especially if you also lose your income as a result of your injuries. As the injured party and the one receiving medical services, you must make arrangements to pay for your medical bills. Fortunately, filing a San Bernardino taxi accident claim can provide you with much-needed compensation that may make it easier for you to pay for those medical bills.
In the meantime, your medical insurance can help provide a buffer that will allow you to continue receiving medical care. You will also need to use your medical insurance to help pay for the long-term treatment required following many severe injuries, including severe traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injuries.
If you cannot pay your medical bills and you fear they will go to collections while you wait for funds from your San Bernardino taxi accident claim, talk to your attorney. An attorney can submit a letter of protection to your medical care providers. That letter will establish your intent to pay once you receive the funds from your San Bernardino taxi accident claim.
10. HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO SETTLE MY SAN BERNARDINO TAXI ACCIDENT CLAIM?
A taxi accident claim can take time to settle, especially if you need to go through multiple rounds of negotiation before agreeing with the insurance company on compensation. In some cases, your attorney may also advise waiting for several weeks or months before filing your San Bernardino taxi accident claim. You may need time to recover before you will know what limitations you will eventually face due to your injuries or what your medical bills will look like. An attorney can help you better prepare for the time it may take to resolve your claim.
CONTACT A SAN BERNARDINO TAXI ACCIDENT ATTORNEY TODAY
If you suffered severe injuries in a San Bernardino taxi accident, do not wait to contact an experienced taxi accident attorney who can help you understand your rights. Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys today at 833-GET GOMEZ (833-438-4663) to learn more.
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